This message is especially for Lori and Debra regarding questions on what the next book will cover and how you might incorporate a high schooler into the study. I sent a message to the whole group that covers part of this, but I know there are many new people in this e-group that may not have seen it. I would encourage you all to go into the archives and look for it.
Briefly, the next book will begin at Jamestown with the early colonization of the United States. We will move through the Pilgrims' story, and early colonial life in New England - then we will look at the events leading up to the American Revolution - meet many of the wonderful characters and the founding fathers - those to whom we owe so much. We will cover the Revolutionary War and the United States Constitution - and probably close out the year with that. I cannot tell all of the topics we will cover in science and other subjects, but I do know that we will begin the year with a science unit on insects, due to the overwhelming problem the Jamestown settlers had with them. I want to cover electricity at the same time we meet Benjamin Franklin, and also plan on doing a language arts unit on newspapers - newswriting, etc. to coincide with the publication of the first newspapers in America. Other than that . . . I'll have to keep you (and myself) in suspense!
Our goal for the Adventure series is to have a total of five books for grades 4-8. A World of Adventure is the first, A New World of Adventure is the second, which will primarily cover the events in the New World - early American History. The following three will continue on through history chronologically. Each book will stand alone as a "separate and independent study." The first will not be a prerequisite for the second - HOWEVER, you will get a great deal more out of the second if you have covered the first one prior to the second. The language arts skills and concepts will all be presented from the "beginning," so that not only will it serve as a good review for veteran Adventure users, but it will be easily understandable for new users as well. The Latin and Greek roots will once again be presented as part of the theme, so there may be some overlapping. If you and your children have covered that root in the first book, just review it. Brand new users will be creating that card for the first time instead.
Regarding high school - I do not have a plan for a separate high school unit study. There are several good unit studies already available for high school, and in preparing for college, many high school students choose a more traditional approach to subjects that are required for college admission. So . . . what's a mom to do? Well, I can tell you what we do right now with Ryan - he is a sophomore this year. We still do unit study for language arts and history, using the library and reading literature as it applies to the historical period we are studying. Ryan is planning on attending college, so we use a math text and a science text. We also are in our second year of a foreign language. We follow the plan detailed in Homeschool, High School, and Beyond, by Beverly Adams-Gordon. It has been an outstanding informational resource regarding planning, transcripts, and overall guidance in terms of what is expected of the high school student (college-bound or not). If you know absolutely that your child will not be attending college and be needing Biology, Chemistry, etc. on his or her transcript, you could use the science in the Adventure series and just dig very deeply into the subject matter.
In my opinion, if you have a large family, and your older ones are entering high school, there is no reason you could not use one of the books in the Adventure series with them as well, as long as you are supplementing with formal programs that you feel will be necessary for your child's future. This will keep your family bonded in one course of study at least part of the time. If you ONLY have high schoolers, you should really consider looking into some of the other unit studies that are meant for high schoolers, so that you won't have to supplement so much - or you could do what we are doing and do half text books, half unit study. One of my goals in writing A World of Adventure was to give parents the confidence needed to do a unit study of their own, if they so choose. After using it for one or more years, you will know better how to answer those questions that so many parents ask - "What kinds of things do I do?" "How much do I do in one day?" "How would I integrage the subjects so that everything goes together?" Perhaps someday, one of you will want to do a unit study of your own! If not, there are a variety of many good high school materials available in the homeschool market.
I will keep you posted on any new developments on the book. These past weeks have been filled with cleaning windows, freezing corn, wrapping up Ryan's freshman year records, organizing and preparing for a school-year ministry at our church that I direct, finalizing plans for Ryan's sophomore year, peeling, chopping, and freezing apples . . . and these last two days we have spent feeding (no small task) and entertaining five teen-age boys for Ryan's birthday party . . . I am tired!